I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Sunday, January 04, 2015

2014 - behind, and that is a good thing.

I was going to say "good riddance" but you know, really, every year deserves to be lived. Still, last year was rather disappointing. My health, that began falling apart at the end of 2013 and layered weird tiredness syndrome (yet again, a repeat from Fall 2012) with  CMV infection. I rested, then tried to get back to running slowly. Well, I was never able to be running not only at the level I used to (including my glorious come-back in the first 6 months of 2013), but running consistently, at any respected pace, or any respected miles/times a week at all. Towards the end of the year I decided to go to every doctor I can find and dig deep. My "early menopause" (I went into it at the age of 38) was diagnosed as poly-gland insufficiency, which included not only levels of Estrogen, FSH and Estradiol of an 80 years old woman, but somewhat low thyroid (always had) and pretty low adrenal function. After 2 months of testing blood, CT, etc. - nobody was any closer to solving the problem than when we began. I know, I used to smirk at Geoff Roes and his fall-out of Earth of running, but now I understand his frustration with: tested all I could, some things are off, but nothing really pointing at anything special, so I just live on my life with no answers. So, this is where I am: can hardly run few miles and feel like I raced a 50k, my heart rate is off the charts (despite trying Maffetone method for 3 months true and all) unless I walk slowly, but my yoga practice is not affected at all (or ability to lift heavy, just lift fast). Bottom line is, something that influencing the cardio-vascular and breathing systems. A general feeling of a total complete exhaustion, as at mile 75 of a 100, but with the very first steps. I am done going to the doctors, it takes time, money, and doesn't solve crap. Besides, my medical insurance runs off in 2 weeks. I am taking matter in my own hands, a.k.a. patience and, well, sometimes slight depression with crying...

That said, I had to look back at a year 2014 long and hard, and, of course, did find good stuff that happened. I learned how to not pay attention what other people/friends/runners are doing, and not feel jealous/incomplete (well, almost). I focused on what I can do, like Power yoga, some Stairmaster and weights. And I expanded my massage practice - both in amount of hours/clients as well as depth. I also had great year of knitting ideas, applied for an awesome massage job at Myo Massage, read more books than I did in years before, coached a lot of runners to their highs, and finalized my plans for leaving my Science job for good (long time coming). Plus I signed up for a long dream of mine - Yoga Teacher Training with Baptiste Power Yoga studio, which begins in January! And last, but not least, my relationship with Larry had come to new levels. Now, 5 years after we married, I can truly say I am the happiest, looking forward to many years till the end, and it was the best crazy decision we've made on the fly. Our backpacking trip on Wonderland trail was a highlight of both our marriage strength and our year - and we want to do more of those trips very much!

On the family side, I don't share much anymore, but in short, Alex went back to college (he got financial aid now that he is over 23), Stephen graduated from high school and lives on his own, working some odd jobs in fast food chains, and Harrison moved on to 8th grade in good style and with solid grades. My father, on the other hand, was suddenly, out of the blue, diagnosed with stomach cancer, which, after trying to perform surgery, turned out to be stage 4 and with metastases - and that prompted me to an extended trip to Russia at the end of December. My mother's health is so-so, and as they are both 78, things are coming to an end. My sister takes great care of them, and I wish I could do more - but at least those 2 weeks I could let her rest, spend time with both mom and dad, help with medical decisions and some leg work, and also do some legal Russian citizen stuff I kept postponing.

I declare 2015 to be a year I reclaim my health, focus on working where my passion leads me. I'll be patient, I will take care of myself, my family, my home. I am committed to Whole30 because it worked for me in 2013, to slow runs, to the gym and to lots and lots of yoga. With one 40-hr a week plus commute job gone by January 16th (an important date in my life, as it turns out, the day I got divorced 7 years ago, and the day it will be 10 years since my only nephew died in a car crash), I will work somewhat less, do things I absolutely love, and focus on self-growth in many directions.

Here is to 2015. It was a great lesson to dig out photos. 2014 was pretty damn good!
(Photos of Good Stuff that Did Happen in 2014 - the year WAS filled with friends, trails, mountains,and revelations)

Volunteering at Bandera, January

Running Mt. Mitchell 40M in February

Volunteering at Nueces, March

Traveling to Bay Area in April

San Antonio trip, May

Oachita trail, OK - May

Portland visit, early June

Bryce 50M race

Utah family vacation, June

Taos-La Luz mountain races, August

Wonderland backpacking trip, September

Estes Park, November

Russia, December


Gretchen said...

I totally get where you are coming from, Olga. 2014 sucked for many reasons, but good for you for being able to celebrate the positive. Look at all those great pictures! You are right- patience with self is a good thing to practice. Let's focus on the joys in 2015!

Olga King said...

Yes, lets! Because every next year can only be better! I hope to catch up with you while backpacking TRT sometime in July with Lori B.!!!

Steve Ansell said...

Olga, I'm with you on making 2015 a better year. Thanks for continuing to share so much of yourself on your blog here.

Erin Earle said...

You inspire me so....your honesty and self-reflection is a gift. xo

Kirstin C said...

Love the year end recap. It does look like you managed to have some fun along the way! Here's to your best year yet in 2015!

Anonymous said...

Here's to a great 2015!

Sarah said...

I'm happy for you....2015 will be a great year. But yes, good to find the positives in everything. We only have one life to live, right?

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